Simple Lighting Techniques for Photographers By Tony Corbell

Duration
1 hr 5 min
Lessons
10
Difficulty Difficulty Difficulty
Intermediate

Capturing great portraits is all about understanding how to manipulate the quality, quantity, and direction of light. Learn how the pros use a variety of light shaping tools to create fantastic portraits every time, and in any kind of situation.

Video transcripts available with a subscription.

Join Tony Corbell as he introduces the class and then kicks things off with a portrait shoot using an umbrella as a light source.
Learn how to use the 60" Octabank as a wonderful light source for soft, smooth portraits.
The softbox is the go-to tool for lighting individual portraits. Tony shows you a number of ways to use this versatile light source.
After learning different ways to use individual lights on their own, Tony teaches you how you can bring together a main light, fill light, and accent lights to create a beautiful portrait.
Understanding how to use an incident light meter will allow you to get your exposure right every single time.
Direct sunlight can be too harsh for portraits, but using a diffusion panel to filter the light falling on to your subject will allow you to shoot outdoors on the brightest of days.
A speedlight can be used to add light to a scene and enable you to light your subject to match the ambient light of the sky.
Learn how to properly use a reflector as a primary light source to increase the light falling on your subject's face and close the gap on the bright highlights for stunning portraits in natural light.
Sometimes we need to take light away to open up the shadows on the face and discover beautiful light for portrait work.
Tony shares some parting words and ties together all the lessons learned in this course.
Profile photo of Tony Corbell

Meet your instructor

Tony Corbell

2 Courses

58 Followers

Tony has been very fortunate having photographed three U.S. presidents, 185 World Leaders, 65 Nigerian Heads of State, about 600 brides and grooms, a couple of NASA astronauts and lots of famous and not so famous faces. He has spoken at almost 400 seminars and workshops nationally and internationally and is the recipient of the highest ho...

92 comments

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  1. Profile photo of Paul Howard Paul Howard

    Tony is fantastic! Very clear and simple instruction for some amazing results. Terrific course and highly recommended! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  2. Profile photo of rob bosley rob bosley

    Excellent, no nonsense, quick and sharp lessons. Really to the point. I would like to hear more from him. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  3. Profile photo of netusername netusername

    Wow Tony Corbell really delivered on this one!! Great job!!! Hope to see from him sooner then later. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  4. Profile photo of Norm Yip Norm Yip

    I thought the course was wonderful. There was so much information. I had personally attended seminar conducted by well many known photographer. but I have learned more watching this series than I have learned at many of the seminars together. This is because you cannot always get the best seating and some times you missed something that was said. Watching the seminar on my computer screens gives me the best place where I can learn the most. I can also replay the program in case I missed something. These program are awesome. N. Yip

  5. Profile photo of gadmasta gadmasta

    This was an amazing insite to photography on a bigger scale. The lesson was at a level that was not at all baffling and I did’t need to keep rewinding segments to understand the jagan. I think I need to watch a course on using a light meter… And metering the ambient light from my camera. Other than that I feel I learnt so much.

    Thank you guys.

    Cassius (London UK) —- Yes, please post my feedback

  6. Profile photo of dhbphotographs dhbphotographs

    Excellent course. I never really understood how to properly light a subject, and this course explained it in simple, understandable terms, using examples with quoted exposures. The part on how to use a meter was one of the most helpful. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  7. Profile photo of bluetaylor9 bluetaylor9

    I don’t normally give feed back but this course was great – the information was put in a very simple but passionate way – the lighting examples were just right and inspiring and the photographs taken were really excellent. This course is a must for any beginner/ improver and anyone who wants to develop thier lighting skills. I like this mans teaching style and want to see more from him after seeing this course! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  8. Profile photo of alex606 alex606

    Great work ! In a short period of time you explained how to work with light in studio and outdoor. I learned a lot and enjoyed watching this video. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  9. Profile photo of jawsh3539 jawsh3539

    I thought this was a very well executed training course. The instructor explained things in a very clear and easy to understand manner. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  10. Profile photo of lencurrie lencurrie

    In the section with outdoors flash, he took a meter reading of the sky and it read f/11 at 1/800th.. which created silhouettes of the trees. But then he added a flash and all of a sudden the trees 100’s of feet away were lit up?

    I’m thinking he must have stopped down to to 1/200th or 1/250th unless he used high speed sync eh?

    My own preference but I think it would have looked really cool if he kept the same ratio at 1/250th and kept the trees as silhouettes..

    Great course though over-all.. especially liked the meter reading information, would enjoy more of that. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  11. Profile photo of asylvest asylvest

    I really appreciate the information I’ve gained in Tony’s explanation on lighting. Many times, it takes someone saying things in a different way to explain some simple aspects of a subject. I believe he has done it with this. Thank you. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  12. Profile photo of Bryon Wiley Bryon Wiley

    Very clear instruction.
    Well done…. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  13. Profile photo of Cheryl Walker Cheryl Walker

    Excellent! Great information clearly presented in an interesting way! Thank you! Will look for more from Tony! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  14. Profile photo of lkralston lkralston

    Tony Corbell is an easy to understand teacher. Would have loved learning how to balance daylight & speedlights on manual though. I do not have TTL anything.
    I am loving these courses. Money well spent!
    Linda Ralston
    lkralston —- Yes, please post my feedback

  15. Profile photo of Joseph Spoto Joseph Spoto

    I really enjoyed this class. I shy away from shooting people because I don’t have a good understanding of lighting. This really simplified things. There were many good points but there were 2 gems that I came away with. One was-don’t try to please other photographers, try to please yourself. The other was the principle of subtractive lighting. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  16. Profile photo of phillipsjosh2415 phillipsjosh2415

    Just finished watching Simple Lighting Techniques for Photographers by Tony Corbell. Man, what an eye opener. He explained some things about flash and outdoor lighting in a way I had never heard before. I plan to get out immediately and practice these techniques. Very good course. Thanks for putting it on the site. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  17. Profile photo of billbuckleyphoto billbuckleyphoto

    This tutorial rocks. Covers basics of light really well and the tools you need to get different effects. Why a certain light modifier is being used, what situations call for what kind of lighting–really excellent, and Tony Corbell is exceedingly good at explaining what he’s doing. Even though I’ve been an outdoor photographer for years, I learned a ton of useful info here. Trying to expand my ability to shoot on location without carrying a truckload of gear but being able to shoot in any lighting conditions, this tutorial, along with, frankly, most of the ones I’ve watched on Kelby, have made my year’s subscription possibly the best $200 I’ve ever spent.
    Thanks and keep ‘em coming. And please have more Corbell videos (and that’s coming from a guy who can’t wait for more Tim Wallace episodes too!
    Cheers,

  18. Profile photo of Joseph Zelazny Joseph Zelazny

    I have been with Kelby training for many years. This is one of the best courses , would like to see more.

    Joe —- Yes, please post my feedback

  19. Profile photo of Jonathan Jonathan

    A great clear course on lighting. I didn’t think I’d take as much away as I did. Will be keeping the techniques in mind on my next shoot. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  20. Profile photo of Juan Carlos Guzman Juan Carlos Guzman

    Great tutorial, is really clear explanation from Tony… —- Yes, please post my feedback

  21. Profile photo of Shawn Hamilton Shawn Hamilton

    Great course! Straight to the point and explained in layman`s terms. Simple lighting techniques indeed. Really enjoyed his natural light segments.
    Thanks —- Yes, please post my feedback

  22. Profile photo of melw49 melw49

    Tony Corbell passion for his craft and his ability to convey his message is brilliant. I gained a bunch of great points form this course. I think I will watch it several more times just to make sure I have it right. The subtractive light segment was particularly brilliant as it wasn’t something I had really thought a lot about. I am looking forward to trying this technique out as soon as I can. Thank you Tony, very inspirational! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  23. Profile photo of Ray Warren Ray Warren

    This course is fantastic. I would recommend it to anyone. It is full of great information presented in a very understandable way. Tony Corbell is obviously a master of his craft and a very good instructor. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  24. Profile photo of cparedesb cparedesb

    it doesn’t get any better than Tony Corbell. congrats. kelby is getting better and better. Corbell a luxurious instructor for KT —- Yes, please post my feedback

  25. Profile photo of 1377356 1377356

    Awesome course. Great explanations with out any fluff. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  26. Profile photo of Peter Blyth Peter Blyth

    Tony’s art is explaining lighting so it just makes sense! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  27. Profile photo of Linda King Linda King

    Tony Corbell is an excellent instructor. Love the way he systematically addresses each light, demonstrating that light’s advantages, then moves to orchestrate them together. By the time he has the whole group of lights working together the results are absolutely beautiful. ~Linda R. King —- Yes, please post my feedback

  28. Profile photo of rnuffer rnuffer

    I never leave feedback, however this course was exceptional! Thank you Tony. I love your teaching style and I can’t wait for your next Kelby Training course. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  29. Profile photo of jsmithbaxter jsmithbaxter

    This guy can really teach. He knows his stuff and he really knows how to pitch it. All of this presentation was clear, succinct and so illuminating. I may have to re-take the course several times to fully digest all his wisdom but I am already aware that my increased knowledge of the manipulation of available light sources will surely improve my photography —- Yes, please post my feedback

  30. Profile photo of suezeeq12 suezeeq12

    What a great course! I had a lot of AHA moments watching this. Thanks for speaking to the beginners who are just entering the world of lighting. Wish there were more Tony courses – really enjoyed his teaching style. Looking forward to more.

    Would love to learn how to effectively use the light meter and also maybe how to choose the particular type of lights to use (speedlites, alien bees, etc.). Thanks! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  31. Profile photo of sirwamz sirwamz

    Tony’s natural light skills are spot on! He got really great result using minimal equipment. Thanks for bringing him. He brings back many basics that that people are rushing through and don’t learn and that’s why they become frustrated later when they can’t understand why they aren’t getting the results they want.

  32. Profile photo of michael829 michael829

    Fantastic! I did some shooting yesterday for a project for a professional photography course that I am enrolled in, and many of the problems that I experienced shooting indoor and outdoor portraits were addressed in this series. Yes, I’m definitely going to do a re-shoot! Kelby Training is a tremendous value, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is serious about photography! Thanks! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  33. Profile photo of jwebster54 jwebster54

    Wonderful course, it shed some light on some things. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  34. Profile photo of Alison Wilson Alison Wilson

    I’ve just signed up for Kelby Training and this was a fabulous start! Tony’s instructions are clear and concise and easy to follow. I was reminded of some important things I’d forgotten with the passage of time and I learned some new techniques and tricks, which I can’t wait to try out. Besides that, Tony was interesting to listen to and held my attention throughout the entire program. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  35. Profile photo of Rodolfo Aguirre Rodolfo Aguirre

    One of the best courses around… straight to to point, keeping simple all concepts and extremely applicable to the field.
    Being part of this training website, best bucks I’ve paid.
    —- Yes, please post my feedback

  36. Profile photo of irishlad57 irishlad57

    Really enjoyed this course i have learned a great deal thank you —- Yes, please post my feedback

  37. Profile photo of James Maddox James Maddox

    What a great group of lessons… This is something for everyone… Good stuff here… —- Yes, please post my feedback

  38. Profile photo of Mark Arundel Mark Arundel

    I like Tony’s style of teaching. I would appreciate seeing more of Tony in the future. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  39. Profile photo of sleepyking sleepyking

    This was the first video I looked at in your course. If you guarantee me , that all other videos have the same quality, I will subscribe right now !! Thx, great !! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  40. Profile photo of kenstandnapp kenstandnapp

    Tony’s course is a great synopsis of using light in the studio and outdoors. He covers the basics that everyone needs to understand. I liked his easygoing teaching style. This is probably a course I will come back to watch again —- Yes, please post my feedback

  41. Profile photo of kenstandnapp kenstandnapp

    Tony’s course is a great synopsis of using light in the studio and outdoors. He covers the basics that everyone needs to understand. I liked his easygoing teaching style. This is probably a course I will come back to watch again —- Yes, please post my feedback —- Yes, please post my feedback

  42. Profile photo of bmjeffries bmjeffries

    Tony is an excellent communicator; simple, relevant and practical. Learned a lot and look forward to seeing him on other sessions. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  43. Profile photo of davidrrogers davidrrogers

    This was one of the very best courses I have seen on Kelby Training. Excellent! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  44. Profile photo of pcimino pcimino

    I really enjoyed this course. Tony is a great instructor and did a very good job explaining key points as well as demonstrating them. He knows his stuff, so add more course from Tony! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  45. Profile photo of Lyman Martin Lyman Martin

    Amazing series of lessons! He really shows the difference a half a step in position can make. From start to finish, this series covers an huge amount of lighting tips in all different scenarios. If you shoot models indoors or outdoors, this is the one series you MUST watch. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  46. Profile photo of halvor.molland@hydro.com halvor.molland@hydro.com

    The studio session was fine – in line with other things I have seen before, so it did not make much for me (although it probably will for others). The outdoor stuff was really good! Simple things, effective and food for thought! Looking forward to seeing more! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  47. Profile photo of Steven G Bottoms Steven G Bottoms

    Just watched Tony Corbell’s lighting course… Fantastic! Learned quite a bit that never really clicked in my years shooting. Very worthwhile and valuable course! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  48. Profile photo of gheceam gheceam

    This has got to be one of the best courses on lighting and really understanding how it works. I’ve been struggling with reflectors and measuring exposure with multiple light sources for 5 years now. This course has brought it all together. Tony Corbell is an amazing teacher. Though he explains fast at times, I had no problem following his explanations having had some experience with ambient, background and highlights in the past. I look forward to perhaps seeing more courses from him on Kelby Training. Thank you. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  49. Profile photo of wwwplc wwwplc

    While I don’t do much studio work, I must say that the instruction in this video provides extremely useful explanation and knowledge of outdoors portraiture. It’s amazing how Tony Corbell has so clearly and visually demonstrated the use of diffuses, reflectors and flashes to control and shape light in this environment. Good teaching. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  50. Profile photo of Jay Boivin Jay Boivin

    I really liked this course. The old school values, using an off camera light meter and what you can expect from the different light boxes, umbrellas were well defined. Explaining how to narrow the gap between the highlights and shadows through various techniques were well explained. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  51. Profile photo of Donald Biresch Donald Biresch

    Excellent course. Concisely delivered with little excess verbiage, yet very understable and to the point. Wish they were all as informative and to the point as this one. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  52. Profile photo of kjeelt kjeelt

    This was just great! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  53. Profile photo of tercerOJO tercerOJO

    This was a very informative course, the instructor was excellent in his delivery and presentation. I would watch anything he puts out in the future. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  54. Profile photo of freshfocus freshfocus

    This course was so so informative! I have watched a couple of others that I wasn’t as impressed with for a few reasons but mainly there was not enough explanation about on why they did what they did. This course explained why they made the charnges, what it would do to the subject, and I loved that he shared camera settings! Excellent course!!!
    —- Yes, please post my feedback

  55. Profile photo of Christy77 Christy77

    Fascinating course! I hope we see more courses on KelbyTraining from Tony soon! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  56. Profile photo of gabytakesphotos gabytakesphotos

    I truly enjoyed his approach to teaching this course. Reminded me of my photography professor in college. No nonsense, but a thorough and informative lesson. It’s apparent that he loves what he does and, unlike so many other photographers, doesn’t mind sharing his wealth of wisdom with new photographers. I hope to see more courses by him. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  57. Profile photo of necielc necielc

    I have to add my kudos to the list. Tony was so easy to understand. It was so well explained. I think lighting is so tricky and I needed this. Thank you! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  58. Profile photo of Equilibrium Equilibrium

    Superb informative in a well laid out format, well explained without being to long winded. One of the better lighting classes. Not to advanced but hearing a pro re iterate simple techniques makes you re think how you do things —- Yes, please post my feedback

  59. Profile photo of mdd770 mdd770

    This was a fantastic course! Short and to the point, but packed full of useful information! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  60. Profile photo of Gary Bonard Gary Bonard

    I love these kelby training segments especially Tony, he is such a good teacher. He is so thought with his explanation of how deferent things work. I have learned so much from Tony and the other instructor, It is just a joe to sit down watch a training video ! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  61. Profile photo of leosimoes leosimoes

    great course! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  62. Profile photo of randypollock randypollock

    First seminar with Tony…simple to understand great examples and this should really help me.

    Now it time to watch them again… —- Yes, please post my feedback

  63. Profile photo of whelsen whelsen

    This course was awesome! It was so clear and gave me a much better view on how to use the different lightning techniques. Thank you very much! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  64. Profile photo of jakeely jakeely

    Excellent, very clear with no nonsense and down to the point.
    I really enjoyed this course —- Yes, please post my feedback

  65. Profile photo of dolphin2421 dolphin2421

    Super fundamentals, great teaching. I am excited to go out and shoot! Thank you, Tony!!!!! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  66. Profile photo of Kenny Knapp Kenny Knapp

    Tony did a great job explaining the information. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  67. Profile photo of scozz scozz

    Great tutorial, one of the best. Congratulations. Cheers —- Yes, please post my feedback

  68. Profile photo of AussieInLondonUK AussieInLondonUK

    What a great course. I learned a load of new techniques for studio and outdoor lighting. Really recommend this to anyone who wants to keep their kit to the minimum when shooting outdoors with flash and WHAT you need to have for studio lighting algorithms.

    Cheers,
    Mark Patten —- Yes, please post my feedback

  69. Profile photo of Pumpkins Pumpkins

    I really enjoyed the information on the light meter,which we do not hear much about. I would like a course on light meters. Thank You —- Yes, please post my feedback

  70. Profile photo of Laura Magnussen Laura Magnussen

    Enjoyed the flow of his teaching method. He was able to get key concepts of lighting across in a understandable and creative way. The whole course was informative but the outdoor lighting segments spoke directly to some of problems I was dealing with. The methods he used were simple, yet the lighting in the photographs was stunning. In the summer I shoot for an outdoors inner city camp for children. My intent as a photographer is to create positive imagery for these children. Some of the issues that I have struggled with, he answered. His most valuable tidbits were the explanation of directional lighting outdoors and his ideas of how lighting for the digital camera is different, the importance of lowering the contrast in the scene to meet the digital camera’s dynamic range. He provided the conceptual framework as well as practical methods that I can apply to resolve the difficult lighting issues that I face at camp. Thank you, Tony. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  71. Profile photo of Ibelieve75 Ibelieve75

    it was great! really walked you thru step by step, finally understood how a hand held light meter works too, Am putting this in my favorites to watch again. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  72. Profile photo of evlens56 evlens56

    thorough and enjoyable

  73. Profile photo of Brent Miller Brent Miller

    Very good class. Very good instructor. Highly recommend. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  74. Profile photo of Peter Simmons Peter Simmons

    What a great course, thank you Tony and Kelby Training. Enjoyed Tony’s informative and relaxed style of teaching. More of Tony please! More examples would be great, as would more on studio lighting and portraits. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  75. Profile photo of Bre Bre

    Loved this course! I will be watching it again. He’s an awesome instructor and showed so many way to use light that I’ve never thought of. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  76. Profile photo of edgontijo edgontijo

    Excellent course. Simple, clear, objective… To learn, people must go thorough the first steps. And this course deals with the basics of lighting… To more advanced lighting, there will be other courses…

  77. Profile photo of Richard Garrow Richard Garrow

    Hi I am once again blown away by such a great course. I would recommend this to everyone. I did not realize that so many great photographers are wiling to share there knowledge, and explain there craft to the world. I feel so lucky to be able to watch all these terrific video’s. I can only hope that Tony Corbell will grace us with some more of his work. Thank You!! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  78. Profile photo of Nacer Nacer

    So many great points. What I appreciate most is I can take several tips from Tony and start using them right now, today. Thank you! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  79. Profile photo of photoshopfanboy photoshopfanboy

    Really solid presentation. So many tips to add to my tool box. Kind of disappointed there was only one presentation available, Tony Corbell is a master photographer/instructor. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  80. Profile photo of JohnLMills JohnLMills

    Loved this course. I’ve gone back and watched it a couple of times. Tony has a real knack for discussing and explaining lighting. Excellent stuff. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  81. Profile photo of 4lulu 4lulu

    Great class! Great stuff for my tool box, thanks! —- No, I’d keep it between us

  82. Profile photo of themurth themurth

    This was a great class. I like how Tony teaches. More, more, more, from Tony! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  83. Profile photo of Jon Hunter Jon Hunter

    I found this course to be very informative, it is probably one of those courses people overlook and skip but if you want to understand lighting techniques then this is the course for you. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  84. Profile photo of Marciebaby Marciebaby

    Wow. This was terrific. Tony is an amazing teacher with so much knowledge. There were a couple of places where he was talking and the video camera stayed focused on him; I wish it would have panned out a little to show what Tony was referring to as he made adjustments to the lights etc. I was fascinated by the way he posed his subjects, too. As a newcomer to the world of photography, I didn’t quite understand why he rotated and angled the subjects the way he did. I would love for Tony to do another course in posing to help us mere mortals learn to see things the way he does. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  85. Profile photo of sunlee79 sunlee79

    This was an excellent summary for both beginners and intermediates into the science of lighting. The instructor showed both the good and the bad of various lighting techniques and the lack of it. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  86. Profile photo of Michael LeClair Michael LeClair

    Tony is an incredible instructor. He speaks very clear and concise and his knowledge of the craft shows through. Thank you for teaching it in a way we can understand and I look forward to getting out and trying some of the techniques you taught.

  87. Profile photo of Derrell Daniels Derrell Daniels

    I watch this class before, but after watching it again I have learn so much more, I am going to repeat this lesson often. It finally sinking in.

  88. Profile photo of titan1970@yahoo.com titan1970@yahoo.com

    This was A fun course!! Very simple to understand! I wish I had more to say but I am so excited to get out there and put some of these techniques to work for me! Thank you Tony so much for your knowledge.and thank you kelby training! — Yes please post my feedback!

  89. Profile photo of NicholasOzz NicholasOzz

    Yes Sir Tony is from the old school ( and thats why i love his style ) this course has educated me so much regards lighting and photography in general , i know this is a big call but for my money the best I’ve seen thus far on Kelby , Nice Tony thank you ..

  90. Profile photo of ranna20 ranna20

    Awesome class! Great basic and practical tips. I plan on watching this again.

  91. Profile photo of Joan Erickson Joan Erickson

    Excellent course. Thinking light is a wonderful concept, if mastered it can make a good photographer into a great one. Tony’s approach and simple techniques help me to slow down and think through a photograph and feel less frantic about getting the result I want. Thanks for your calm, thoughtful approach and taking the time to put this course together.

  92. Profile photo of judebaker judebaker

    Outstanding class!! Tony makes everything so clear and understandable. I hope that he is making some more classes for Kelby One.